FOR THE SEVENTH SEASON OF CONTEMPORASIAN, THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART BRINGS TOGETHER FILMS THAT REPRESENT THE RAPIDLY TRANSFORMING VISUAL CULTURE OF ASIA
The Exhibition Features Films from Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, and South Korea, with an Extended Spotlight on Films from the Tibetan Plateau
MoMA Presents: ContemporAsian
April 21–August 31, 2014
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters
NEW YORK, April 15, 2014—The Museum of Modern Art presents the seventh season of ContemporAsian, an ongoing series showcasing films that get little exposure outside of their home countries or on the international festival circuit, but which engage the various styles, histories, and changes in Asian cinema, from April 21 to August 31, 2014, in the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters. Presented in weeklong engagements, the films in the series include recent independent gems by both new and established filmmakers whose work represents the rapidly transforming visual culture of the region. This year’s selection, which includes films from Hong Kong, Iran, South Korea, and Japan, culminates in Lens on Tibet, a dedicated look at contemporary Tibetan film. ContemporAsian is organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film. Lens on Tibet is organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, and Paola Vanzo, Director of Communications and Development, and Kristina Dy-Liacco, Librarian, Trace Foundation.
ContemporAsian’s seventh season opens with Bends (2013), Flora Lau’s classical drama, which debuted in the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section. The film is a two-character piece in which each personifies the differences between Hong Kong and mainland China, and their somewhat uneasy co-existence. A wealthy Hong Kong housewife, Anna, lives a spoiled, bored life. When her husband suddenly leaves, taking the money and prestige with him, she refuses to accept her changed circumstances. Her chauffeur, Fai, who lives in an ugly barrack across the border in Shenzhen, is trying to get his wife—whose second pregnancy is a violation of the Chinese one-child policy—over the border so she can give birth in Hong Kong. With beautiful camera work by the incomparable Christopher Doyle, the film’s elegant look and languorous rhythms create an affecting reflection of the characters’ emotional isolation. As they become increasingly desperate, the sharp distinctions between their two worlds become ever clearer.
In May, Atsushi Funahashi’s Sakura Namiki no Mankai no Shita ni (Cold Bloom) (2012), tells an achingly beautiful tale of grief and forgiveness in post-Fukushima Japan. The film takes place in Hitachi, a seaside town recovering from its 2011 devastation, and follows a young couple named Shiori and Kenji who work in a small factory. Embracing a tender humanism and classical style, Cold Bloom‘s distinctly contemporary setting and narrative infuse a rich tradition with vitality and aplomb.
Full press release